Allow Your Clients to Schedule Their Own Appointments

Do you ever play phone tag when trying to schedule appointments with your clients? We've got a great solution for you. A couple months ago, we signed up for an online appointment scheduler called TimeTrade. We absolutely love how easy it is for our customers/clients to make appointments with our company. It has saved time for both our company and our customers/clients.

integrates with your existing Outlook or Google calendar. You can create multiple event types with different blocks of time. When a client selects a desired time, your Outlook or Google calendar is automatically filled in with their information.

Try it for yourself for 30-day free trial. The single user price per year is only $49.

Want to see how easy it is to create an activity with TimeTrade, watch this video on YouTube.


Marketing with Facebook

I listened to a great webinar today hosted by Gail Dody with Design Success University presented by Amy Porterfield. The subject was marketing with Facebook. Amy is a very engaging down to earth speaker. Visit her on Facebook and like her page, you're sure to get lots of great marketing tips from her.

She also mentioned that she was one of three authors that wrote the book "Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies." This book discusses everything you ever wanted to know about how to effectively use Facebook as a marketing tool. Check out the book, it has a wealth of information. Amy shared a lot of great tips on the webinar today. Thanks Gail for having the insight to have Amy do a presentation today.


You Won't Believe What Your Mobile Phone Can Do Now!

Have you seen these funny looking squares that resemble a computer chip and wondered what the heck? You've probably noticed them on printed materials you're receiving in the mail. They're showing up everywhere! Or, you might have even noticed them on a few business cards. Keep reading to see how to begin using those funny looking squares today.

First, let me explain how and why these codes are used. They are called QR Codes (Quick Response) and they are able to be read with an app in mobile phones such as iPhone, Android and Blackberry. These unique scanner apps read the QR Code and instantly displays any type of information from the vendor's website, a shopping cart page, or contact details.

You can even generate your own QR Code to add to your marketing materials. We're in the process of adding QR Codes to our business cards, brochures, flyers . . . well you get the picture. You can generate a different QR Code that is specific to each marketing piece. For instance, your brochure QR Code might take a person directly to the homepage of your website. A QR Code on a flyer might take your client to a specific page on your website. A QR Code on your business card could give them your contact details. In this world of technology, it's all about giving our clients the information they want RIGHT NOW!

Below is example of a QR Code online generator that can create a QR Code for your business card by using the Create a meCard option. If you want to create a QR Code to direct someone to your website you would simply click on the drop down menu and select Bookmark a website. There are several QR Code generators available on the web. We selected Qrafter, anyone can visit this website and generate QR Codes for free, however, their current mobile phone app is only for iOS devices which are the iPhone and iPad. I also like Mobiletag and their app is for Andriod, Blackerry and iPhone users. Download an app for your phone today; be prepared to take interesting journeys with your phone.

You can upgrade to the Pro Pack ($2.99) and create QR Codes right from your iPhone.


Paying & Reimbursing Yourself in QuickBooks

Yesterday, Vickie Ayres, The Countess of QuickBooks, hosted our free monthly QuickBooks webinar and discussed the topic of how to pay and reimburse yourself in QuickBooks. She also demonstrated clever ways of making sure everything is tracked in QuickBooks properly. Below is an article from Vickie based on the webinar. The recording of yesterday's webinar will be available for purchase in our shopping cart next week.

Paying and Reimbursing Yourself in QuickBooks
by Vickie Ayres

How to decide to pay and reimburse yourself can be a difficult question, especially when you first open your business. Almost all new businesses have to re-invest most of their profit back into the business. Think about how much it would cost to replace yourself doing the tasks you do. If you hired someone to do your job, what is the going rate in your area? That is the minimum base rate you should choose to pay yourself. Some business owners pay themselves based on a percentage of the job, sometimes that is easier in the beginning when cash flow is tight.

After deciding how much, let's look at how to enter that in your QuickBooks company file. You will want to discuss this with your accountant of course, as everyone's entity and personal situation will vary. If you create payroll for employees, you can make yourself an "Employee" and pay yourself, letting payroll taxes accrue as you go along. This is how I have paid myself for years. Pay as you go and even it all up at the end of the year on your tax returns.

You need two accounts in your Chart of Accounts to show money drawn and money invested. Depending on your entity type there will be different account names for each entity. Essentially, whether it is a Partner Draw or an Owners Draw, the name is different but the concept is the same. Your company has money, it isn't taxed yet, and you want to put it in your pocket. That's OK, it's your money.

Below are three examples of Chart of Accounts's set up as three different entity types, notice how they have similar names for the money drawn and money invested equity accounts?

Owner Draw

Partner Draw


What your accountant and the government care about is that when you take or put money into your company, you record that information correctly. Show how much you take and how much you put in, so the accountant can arrange it all on your tax return at the end of the year and assess the proper payroll and income taxes on it.

If you don't create payroll you can write yourself a "Draw" check, remember to use the equity account in your Chart of Accounts that is for draws, don't get hung up on the difference in names in the different types of entities. Here is an example of a check written to the owner of the company for $1000.00 as a salary.

The other thing you need to account for is business expenses that you make with personal funds or credit cards. Very, very important to keep track of these. You can do them as you go but most people let them pile up in a file and reimburse these expenses periodically. This money that you "invest" in your company is money you can take out of your company with no payroll or income taxes assessed; it is money the government has already taxed. Let's look at two ways to get that expense posted in QuickBooks and/or pay yourself back.

If you want to pay yourself back just write yourself, a check and use the appropriate expense account. If you used your personal credit card to buy some paper at Office Max, below is a check showing how to pay yourself back.

Now here is the really cool trick, how to enter the expense and NOT pay yourself back right now. We are going to create a "Zero Sum Transaction in a Clearing Account." Won't you look smart at your next tax appointment throwing that fancy phrase out on the desk? It's very easy!
  • Create a new bank account called "Clearing Account" (List > Chart of Accounts > right-click, select "New" > Type, Bank > Save & Close.
  • Now create a check and make sure you choose the "Clearing Account this time, the example below shows the same copy paper expense, but it makes an expense number for Office Supplies and an Investment entry for the amount invested.
  • Notice there are two entries on the expense tab. The second entry uses the Owner's Capital: Investments account and the exact same amount in negative format was entered.

You can stack numerous transactions on the same check here. Simply list all of the transactions with explanations and make just one entry with the negative number for the investment, like this...

If you use QuickBooks in your design business you need Minutes Matter QuickBooks & Quoting! Included with your purchase is a free one-on-one set up with Vickie, The Countess of QuickBooks, to make sure you're off to the perfect start with our QuickBooks & Quoting.


Use your phone to accept a credit card payment from your client

ezine: gopayment

Hi ~Contact.FirstName~,

Do you accept credit card payments from your clients? If not, now might be a great time to seriously consider it, if you have an iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry phone. I have read about Intuit's GoPayment device with interest for sometime, but decided I didn't want to pay for the reader or additional monthly fee.

Recently, I was on the phone with Intuit and the person mentioned GoPayment and how Intuit had made big changes in regards to GoPayment. They are now offering a TOTALLY FREE reader to everyone with a low swipe rate of 1.6%. The GoPayment App to install on your device is also free. All business owners that accept credit cards know if you can actually swipe the client's credit card the discount rate is much lower. All the sudden, I began to sit up and listen with great interest. He went on to say since I was already using Intuit's merchant services for the Desktop version of QuickBooks they would simply add GoPayment to my existing account with NO additional monthly charge. Immediately, I was sold. Of course, I confirmed this offer didn't have any hidden charges and I quizzed him over all the terms and conditions. There is no contract, you can cancel at anytime and it is extremely easy to sign up as new merchant with Intuit. I think he told me the monthly fee is $11.99 per month.

I received my FREE reader this week. Dandelion Interiors is ready to accept charges using our iPhones or iPad. Did I mention Jerry and I love our iPhones? Jerry and I both tested the reader on our phones and indeed it works as advertised. You can even void a charge right from your phone. Absolutely, love it! Isn't technology amazing?

ezine: gopayment1